After a lot of prayer and thinking about things, Emily and I will be starting on a new journey this year. She approached me about a month ago and asked if I would homeschool her again in the Fall. She has not been happy in her new school and I have to say that there have been so many things here that I'm not thrilled about either.
The main thing that concerns me is seeing her self-confidence slowly seeping away. We have worked really hard with all of our children to give them positive experiences that will help them gain confidence despite their struggles. It's been heart breaking to me to see Emily start to feel like she is lacking in so many ways. She had dealt with more than her share of meanness and bullying this year.
I have so many friends who are public school teachers and I love them all and know they do a fantastic job with difficult circumstances. So this isn't about bashing the public school system. Emily had a good experience in her last school district which was small.
However, for us homeschooling is something that I've always felt was a good choice. I'm seeing the fruit of it in my boys' lives so I know that I've done a good job of it in the past. The only thing I'm apprehensive about is dealing with a new district. The head of the department that handled homeschooling in our old district was always so accommodating and in fact, she would refer homeschooling parents to me for advice because she respected the job I did at it. I've heard this new district can be difficult, but we shall see. I am joining the Home School Legal Defense Association and I know my rights under New York State Home School Law so I'm not anticipating too many problems.
I'm actually getting excited and Emily is too. A few things have already lined up to expand on some of her interests. A friend, who is a fabulous nature artist, is going to give Emily art lessons. Their common interest in art and animals will make a great combination.
Emily signed up to volunteer with our local K-9 search and rescue unit and will be helping them out once a week. Another friend approached me about Emily coming and grooming and spending time with her horse (whom Emily has already met). She will be doing that a few times a week.
Another exciting thing is that our church does a missions trip to Santiago, Chile every year to work with a girl's orphanage. Emily is taking Spanish and we will continue with this in the Fall (I do speak Spanish) and we are thinking about going on a future trip together to Chile.
I kept most of the curriculum I used with the boys so other than a few things, we are good to go! I honestly think it will be a good experience. I haven't homeschooled for the past 3 years and when I was schooling the kids before it was difficult at times because the boys were both in high school and Nathan had severe learning disabilities. So trying to fit Emily in there too was a challenge. Now, it's just her and I and we are both looking forward to it.
There is also a county-wide homeschool group that meets on a regular basis so we will be getting together with them too.
This is a new journey (or perhaps I should say, a restart of one) but an exciting journey as well! I'm linking up with my friend, Kate's blog today.